NBA in the 70s: the Haywood affair prepares the ground for “One and Done” | Basketball
Haywood played a year for the Denver Rockets in the ABA, which did not have the same early entry rules as the NBA. But after receiving a contract extension with most of the deferred money, he decided to move on to the NBA. Sonics owner Sam Schulman and most of the legal team who brought the Haywood case to the Supreme Court were Jewish.
HAYWOOD: âYou have to address Jewish property as well, because if I had had another type of owner in Seattle, I don’t think my case would have turned out the way it did.
The Jewish owners were the ones who could take a black player’s place and bring him in and then defend him because they had a story. And that’s what the NBA is, it’s that story too.
So, yes, it took some nerve to get to the Supreme Court at 20. Not just for me. Sam Schulman was my boss and the owner of the Sonics, and he put his whole franchise at risk. Because he wanted to do what was right for this young kid and everyone was like, âSam, you’re crazy. And he said, “One thing you’re going to learn from me, Spencer, is Jewish loyalty. And when you, when you pay back, I want you to go to Israel. And I have been five times.” “
Haywood, who helped the United States win a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, has watched with concern as many stars in today’s sports move away from the days of “Shut up and play. “and started using their platform to talk about social issues and racism. He is a past president of the National Basketball Retired Players Association and has fought for health care and other benefits for retired players.